How to Best Reach Customers: Using the Science of AI to Drive Personal Customer Experiences

As business decision makers take more control over the buying process, technology sellers are struggling to find ways to reach them. However, new technologies are emerging to help Inside Sales teams optimize their reach—transforming the art of selling into more of a science.

The science lies behind the creative use of data, and the bigger the data the better. In these technologies, a predictive layer of mathematics is applied to the data resulting in recommendations. This process is the backbone of artificial intelligence or machine learning. Of course the “right data” is important: remember the old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” And with more of the right data your tech stack can continue to evolve, getting more efficient and uncovering new opportunities in the changing landscape.

How Technology Impacts the Art of Engaging Prospects

There are many considerations when contacting prospects: Is there a single person, or a buying team to contact?  When is the best time to reach out to them? What channels should you use and in what order? A lot of the answers to these questions historically came from instinct, experience, and the art of being a salesperson. Today, however, we have algorithm-based artificial intelligence (AI) to handle most of the analysis for us, so we can focus on the actual activity of engaging with a prospect and selling directly to them.

AI in outreach offers automation to streamline processes, engage more buyers, and accelerate sales. When properly utilized, you can build market share, enhance personalization, and increase customer loyalty.

At the core of these technologies is Predictive Analytics, which allow you to develop models to score prospects. This in turn enables you to match the right message to the right person at the right time. As your audience changes, these tools keep you abreast of what their needs are and how to reach them efficiently.

Historically, reaching prospects was a volume game. Often, however, the emphasis on quantity meant a trade-off regarding quality. Today, the tech stack of Predictive Analytics coupled with Reach Optimization allows you to drive both value and volume. By targeting quality prospects, sales teams can engage in more meaningful conversations, resulting in a more efficient use of high-cost sales talent, higher close rates and revenue-expense ratios.

Digging through data, we’ve learned that reps who spent more time on calls overall, but less than three minutes on individual calls, were less likely to be successful. The net of this learning is that often the length of time on a call equates to how meaningful conversation is and how much information is uncovered to move the sale forward. If your organization still places the highest value on total number of calls, look more closely at your data and modify your metrics to reflect the change in landscape.

Growing the Possibility of Success

There have always been two ways to connect with a customer: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous contact is a live back and forth exchange in person, on the phone, through text and so on. Asynchronous contact has a delay between the message you send and the response you receive, such as LinkedIn, email or Twitter. What you’ll notice about both ways of connecting is that the channels have multiplied, which in turn increases the variables. This makes the environment ripe for Reach Optimization AI.

Reach Optimization technologies involve automated dialer technology, which helps to create a synchronous contact, connecting Inside Sales reps with live calls. The software or technology involved can also replace manual processes such as lead routing, dialing, and day-to-day tasks that detract from your sales teams’ time with customers. In doing so, you speed up the actual process of outreach, meaning you can connect with more prospects on a more personal level.

The goal is to enable your Inside Sales team to engage in more meaningful touch points with higher quality prospects as often as possible. Reach Optimization through manual processes has clear limits. Reach Optimization through AI and automated technology is limitless. The key comes from striking a balance between the information you collect, how you analyze it, and the ways you apply your learnings.

The technology landscape is continuing to evolve rapidly with more companies embracing Inside Sales as the growth platform for driving technology sales. A robust tech stack built on significant and quality data, and under constant optimization, is what will fuels your Inside Sales team to deliver today and well into the future.

As experts in outsourced Inside Sales for technology solutions, N3 embraces new technologies. We have found that with a modern tech stack, you can free your salespeople to focus less on functions and more on engaging and converting customers at more efficient levels.


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About the Author

Tim Killenberg

As global leader of N3’s Commercial Delivery organization, Tim focuses on driving revenue results and sales excellence for leading technology, software, and manufacturing companies. Tim has over 20 years of sales, marketing and strategy experience with high-growth companies. Connect on LinkedIn

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